Somoge

[Internet connection too slow for photo.]

Freshwater turtles are a great addition to a Samo feast, in this case for the closing ceremony for the school year. (Here in the southern hemisphere the Christmas break is like the American summer vacation.)

We are enjoying the Tutes‘ visit. Please pray for good understanding and planning for the Pastors‘ Workshops.

Never alone

WRITTEN A COUPLE WEEKS AGO FROM THE VILLAGE

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In PNG it is not acceptable to be by yourself, for many different cultural reasons. A few days ago, one of my many Samo sons, Kelvin, kept me company all afternoon today. I spent the afternoon listing on a spreadsheet all of the tasks that I could think of so far that need to be done on a regular basis to accomplish our goals in the North Fly. I grouped them by categories, like Admin, Pastors’ Workshops, etc. and then reorganized them by position. I’m doing this to help me prioritize my time, delegate jobs to the right people, and keep working on recruitment.

Please continue to pray for perseverence in the administrative side of my job. I am very thankful for the progress I’m making – I feel like I can now coordinate people rather than just shuffle papers!

Village life

LOOKS LIKE THIS DIDN’T GO AFTER ALL!

We arrived in our Samo village yesterday, and we were happy to find that we can post to this blog with the weak data signal we get standing at the „twin palms“. However, I could not manage to upload a photo, so it looks like it will be text only for the next three weeks!

That’s still a lot more than in the old days when news traveled in and out of our home only every six weeks when the next supply plane came!

Steel drum

A few days ago Pastor Soli came through our village carrying half of a 55-gallon drum (picture). While we were in Ukarumpa he had walked many miles through the jungle to pick up a new dugout canoe. The canoe had been made by the father of a girl that Soli had taken care of while she was in school in Honinabi. He and another man also split a steel drum from there. Soli carried it on his new canoe, which he paddled back upsteam many miles to Samo territory. A few days ago he went back down to the river to get it, and he carried it home by strapping it to his head with split-cane rope. Just this „short“ walk to complete the journey would have been a full day’s outing for me! He will use the half-drum to make a fireplace for cooking in his house.

I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to show another side of a pastor’s life here!

Kulau break

A green coconut is a great occasion for an afternoon break. It is called kulau in Pidgin and fogoin in Samo. I was focused on continuing to document the North Fly plans when a group of small boys walked in our house with one for each of us. After drinking the sweet water inside, Johanna split the shells (picture) and scraped out the meat to cream our dinner vegetables.

Please ask God to help us capture the vison of local church leaders in the North Fly write-up. I would also love to finish it soon!

It’s a busy place

I just talked to my Samo brother-in-law, whom I call „Jawbone“ because we once shared the jawbone of a sloth, and he told me that he had cut down a sago palm today. Tomorrow, like most Saturdays in the Honinabi area, is sports association day. It is the favorite day of the week among the youth. Then Sunday will be the rest day of the week. So on Monday my Jawbone will prepare the trunk of his sago palm by carefully cutting away one side of the bark and folding it down so that his wife and mother-in-law can process the inside of the trunk into the starch powder that is the cultural staple of most of the province and many other places in PNG. While the ladies carry on with this job, he will go to the school for parent workday. Johanna and Emily are planning to take this opportunity to share sago-making with the ladies, while I move ahead with planning and preparation for the pastors‘ workshops to kick off next year.